The debasement of 9/11 memory, & why the Guardian Left can’t take Palestinian terrorism seriously

The Guardian sure knows how to find them.

In a Guardian video post titled “Scott Atran: US foreign policy is set by people who’ve almost no insight into human welfare, education, labor, desires, or hopes“, Atran criticizes the Americans who administer USAID (the US agency responsible for dispersing civilian foreign aid) who, he argues, lack his sophisticated understanding of the people around the world receiving such support.

Who is Scott Atran? Well, he’s an American academic (an anthropologist by training) who has become a commentator on the issues of terrorism and national security, and has contributed to the Huffington Post and New York Times.

Atran, writing for the NYT, in the context of criticizing a US law banning the provision of “material support” to foreign terrorist groups, wrote the following about his discussions with Hamas:

“When we talked to Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas (considered a terrorist group by the State Department), he said that his movement could imagine a two-state “peace” (he used the term “salaam,” not just the usual “hudna,” which signifies only an armistice.” [emphasis mine]

While Atran’s Guardian video largely deals with USAID,  he frames the issue by first contextualizing what he sees as America’s appalling ignorance about the world by briefly commenting on the significance of 9/11.

The money quote – “Never before in human history has so few people with so few means caused such fear in so many” – has been advanced previously by Atran in an essay for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Such a passage certainly puts in proper context his capacity to believe that Hamas terrorists merely desire the same things we all want: peace, prosperity, and co-existence – a perfect illustration of what Richard Landes refers to as cognitive ego-centrism

Atran’s academic detachment in the face of reactionary terror groups who intentionally murder innocent civilians represents a perfect example of a Western left (especially, but not exclusively, of the Guardian variety) who can’t wrap their minds around the immutable malevolence of Islamist terrorist movements.

This failure of moral imagination – informed by a cultural and intellectual elite which mocks the idea that there is real evil in the world – represents one of the most serious strategic liabilities to Israel and the West. 

Atran’s contempt for Americans’ “hysterical” fear of terrorism following the murder of nearly 3000 civilians on 9/11 – by attackers who would have been happy if the number of killed had been in the tens of thousands – can not be casually dismissed as the unserious musings of another academic.

Atran’s views quite accurately represent the cognitive process which informs the Guardian’s Left’s appalling lack of empathy for a Jewish state under siege.

You can’t understand Harriet Sherwood’s callousness towards the threat posed to Israelis by terrorists in Gaza without coming to terms with how common such views are within the ideological circles she travels.

Harriet Sherwood’s latest Guardian report on terror attacks from Gaza redefines the word “Sporadic”

A guest post by AKUS

Merriam Webster:

Definition of SPORADIC

:occurring occasionally, singly, or in irregular or random instances <sporadic protests> <a sporadic disease>

In her latest contribution to the abuse of the English language and misreporting from the Middle East, Harriet Sherwood writes:

“Hamas has largely adhered to a ceasefire that came into effect at the end of a three-week war in Gaza in January 2009. However, smaller militant groups such as Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees have continued sporadic rocket fire.”

However, as Israelinurse demonstrated  in her recent post,  “The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood: Terror Propagandist”, there has been frequent, virtually daily, firing of rockets and mortars  throughout August, September, and October, culminating in some 40 missiles being fired from Gaza into Israel over the last couple of days – as even Sherwood, had to note.  

When, in Sherwood’s mind, does “sporadic” become “frequent”?  Ten rockets and mortar shells a day? Fifty?  One hundred?  Thousands? How many missiles would be fired into London before the attacks would no longer be considered “sporadic”?

Of course, Sherwood managed as usual to put the cart before the horse in describing the latest round of heavy rocket fire into Israel:

“The weekend’s cycle of violence began when the Israeli air force targeted a group of militants in southern Gaza on Saturday, claiming the militants were preparing to launch long-range missiles into Israel.”

Let’s rewrite this so that the time sequence is represented correctly, and fix up the description of those involved: 

The weekend’s cycle of violence began when a group of terrorists in southern Gaza on Saturday were preparing to launch long-range missiles into Israel. The Israeli air force targeted them in order to prevent the launch. 

Finally, of course, Sherwood is quite representative of the Guardian staff in her butchering of one of the languages in which the Guardian appears (the other being Arabic). The sub-header to her article that was provided by some hack in London reads:

Islamic Jihad says it will stop firing rockets if air strikes cease after militants and Israeli civilian killed

If you have difficulty parsing this, you are probably not alone. Did the Islamic Jihad really want more terrorists and an Israeli citizen killed before it stopped firing missiles at civilians? Presumably the intention was:

After nine terrorists and an Israeli civilian were killed, Islamic Jihad says it will stop firing rockets if air strikes cease.

But that’s the Guardian for you. I can only assume that the software they use to translate their reports from their Arabic primary sources still has a few bugs to be worked out.

Why is an essay on alleged Israeli racism in the “Jewish Belief” section of ‘Comment is Free’?

I recently commented (here) on an Oct. 25th CiF essay by Kapil Komireddi (Israel and India: A relationship deepened by prejudice) which again demonstrated that, for the anti-Zionist left, even the most benign Israeli act, policy, or alliance can be contorted to impute maximum malice to the Jewish state.  

Specifically, Komirredi argued that Israel’s increasingly close diplomatic and military ties with democratic India was based on the shared value of “Islamophobia”.

But, also of note is that CiF editors decided to place Komireddi’s assault on Israel on the CiF Judaism page.

Whatever Komireddi’s take on Israel, he didn’t once mention Judaism or the state’s Jewish character.

Do CiF editors think that Israel’s alleged racism can be reasonably construed as commentary on the nature of Judaism itself, as Deborah Orr argued?

Nor, however, does Orr represent the only example of the Guardian licensing such a view.  As Anthony Julius wrote in a letter published by the Guardian about the play Seven Jewish Children, which, he noted, is still available at the Guardian’s website, the play includes the following:

“Tell her we killed the babies by mistake / Don’t tell her anything about the army.” “Tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel? Tell her all I feel is happy it’s not her.” “Tell her I wouldn’t care if we wiped them out.” “Tell her I don’t care if the world hates us, tell her we’re better haters, tell her we’re chosen people.” [emphasis mine]

As Julius concludes in his letter:

“In this play, Jews confess to lying to their own children and killing Palestinian children. They also confess to something close to a project of genocide. And they freely acknowledge the source of their misanthropy to be Judaism itself…None of [which] seems to bother the Guardian.” [emphasis mine]

While one could certainly not be blamed for failing to see a pattern, while contextualizing the Guardian each and every day I simply don’t think the placement of Komireddi’s essay on the Jewish state’s racism, the availability of the play Seven Jewish Children on their website, and Orr’s attack on “the chosen” can be seen outside of the Guardian’s shameful record of publishing essays and letters from unrepentant antisemites.

Finally, an unbridled and chilling assault on Israel’s moral legitimacy written by the Guardian’s David Hearst, in August, “Could Arab staying power ultimately defeat Zionism?“, concluded with the query of whether Israel will be “a democracy or a supremacist state?” [emphasis mine]

Whether these examples represent a pattern in the Guardian’s understanding of Judaism itself is, at the very least, an important question, as the narrative of Jews (and/or Judaism) as inherently racist or supremacist has a dark and odious intellectual history – one which those dedicated to fighting antisemitism can not afford to breezily ignore. 

Related articles

What the Guardian or New York Times won’t report: Troofers and antisemites @ Occupy Wall St.

Citizen journalism at its best. 

The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood: Terror Propagandist.


An organized programme of publicity, selected information, etc., used to propagate a doctrine, practice, etc.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary

Imagine for a moment that you know nothing whatsoever about the Middle East in general and the Arab/Israeli conflict specifically. It’s a lazy Sunday morning and you’re flicking through the headlines on the Guardian website when you come across this one:

What conclusions could you draw from this? You would immediately know that the Israelis were active and the unidentified ‘militants’ passive.  You might reasonably assume that all nine were killed in the same incident. You would certainly have no idea why the Israelis suddenly woke up one morning and decided to kill nine people who, according to this headline, appear to have done nothing in particular to warrant such a fate, apart from being ‘militants’.

Then you read the strap-line below:

So now you know that it’s a ‘tit for tat’ affair – an ‘exchange’ of presumably equal and equivalent ‘cross border attacks’, although you’re still none the wiser as to what the ‘militant’ side did, or who they are, but you do know that the Israelis carried out air strikes and might even conclude that they initiated the exchange of fire and therefore breached the ‘relative quiet’.  Without perhaps even knowing it, you are already being steered in the direction of apportioning blame for the hostilities because so far, you can only identify one side.

Then you begin to read the body of the article. You would, however, have to read right down to paragraph eight before understanding that there were existing factors which lead to the very precise air strike presented erroneously in the headline as the start of the story – a theme further developed in its first seven paragraphs.  

“The Israeli Defence Forces said that its first air strike on Saturday targeted a squad responsible for the firing of a Grad missile last Wednesday, which fell in an open area and caused no casualties nor damage. No Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility for the launch.”

So, you would now understand that something called a Grad missile was fired three days previously, but that it was a harmless incident and that nobody knows who actually fired it. In fact, it is deliberately made to sound like as innocuous an affair as is possible (considering that Sherwood is actually describing the war crime of firing of military-grade hardware at a civilian population) in order to suggest over-reaction on the Israeli side as well as casting doubt as to whether the people killed in the air strike actually had anything to do with the firing of last Wednesday’s missile. After all, according to Harriet Sherwood we only have the IDF’s word for it and she naturally does not bother to present her readers with the filmed evidence of the terror cell preparing to launch another missile on Saturday morning.


Continuing with her underlying theme of moral equivalence, Sherwood states that:

“This weekend’s exchange of cross-border attacks punctuated around two months of quiet since a deadly confrontation in August following a militant attack near the Israel-Egypt border in which eight Israelis were killed.”

In fact, after the August 18th terror attack in which eight Israelis were murdered, a considerable number of rockets were fired from Gaza at civilian conurbations in Israel.

August 18th: 4 rockets.

August 19th: 17 rockets and several mortars.

August 20th: 64 rockets.

August 21st: 2 mortars and 16 rockets.

August 22nd: 5 rockets.

August 24th: 20 rockets.

August 25th: 15 rockets.

August 26th: 3 rockets.

August 27th: 1 rocket.

August 28th: 2 rockets.

August 29th: 1 rocket.

August 31st: 2 rockets.  

September 5th: 1 rocket.

September 29th: 1 rocket.

September 30th: attack prevented.

October 4th: 2 rockets.

October 11th: 1 rocket.

October 26th: 1 rocket.

This is what Sherwood would have her readers accept as ‘quiet’ (although one doubts that either she or her audience would be quite so sanguine were even one Grad missile to fall on their own family home) and it does imply some sort of double standard in Sherwood’s mind as regards the conditions Israelis are expected to tolerate.  

She further tries to exonerate the ruling Hamas faction in Gaza from all responsibility by writing:

“Hamas has largely adhered to a ceasefire that came into effect at the end of a three-week war in Gaza in January 2009. However, smaller militant groups such as Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees have continued sporadic rocket fire.”

In fact, the last twelve months of the ‘ceasefire’ actually looks like this:

In other words, Sherwood wishes to convince her readers that the Hamas regime has little or nothing to do with the fact that missiles and mortars continue to be fired upon Israeli civilian communities. She certainly wishes to absolve Hamas of all responsibility for the attacks originating in territory under its control.

The trouble with that theory of course is the fact that whilst Hamas was busy negotiating the release of 1,027 imprisoned terrorists in exchange for one kidnapped Israeli soldier, it did manage to prevent the execution of any and all rocket, mortar or missile attacks from the Gaza Strip, thus proving that it has considerably more agency than Harriet Sherwood would care to admit.

With her use of distortion and selective information Harriet Sherwood and her employers have become propagandists extraordinaire for an internationally proscribed terror organization which has for a decade been both directly and indirectly involved in missile attacks on Israeli civilians.

 One has to wonder about the roots of an ideology so strong that it can over-ride professional ethics and inspire attempts like those in this article (later slightly updated) to magic away the fact that almost one seventh of all Israeli men, women and children are currently held hostage in their homes and subject to repeated trauma as depicted in the video below. 

True ‘liberal voices’ would not engage in propaganda on behalf of those who terrorise civilians in this manner, but of course the Guardian long since sold out on liberal.

The Guardian’s long crusade in defense of radical Islamist Raed Salah is dealt a heavy blow.

The Guardian’s coverage of the UK’s detainment of Sheikh Raed Salah (which included twelve separate reports and commentaries), represented the ideologically driven anti-Israel bias of the paper at its worst.

As we’ve pointed out, the Guardian continually airbrushed, or ignored, irrefutable evidence of Salah’s antisemitism, extremism, and record of incitement. Inversely, those who opposed Salah were typically referred to in the pejorative as merely “right-wing” Israelis or those with an anti-Muslim bias.

He has been in Britain since June, despite being banned from entering the country, and spoke at a number of anti-Israel events before being arrested.

Salah appealed the original deportation order issued by Home Secretary Theresa May, who deemed that he was not conducive to the public good, and was granted bail in July while he awaited the deportation hearing.

On Wednesday, Salah lost his appeal against deportation from the United Kingdom.

Indeed, the case that Salah is indeed an extremist, and that the UK made the proper decision in detaining him, simply couldn’t be clearer.

Salah has endorsed classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about 9/11, advanced the Medieval blood libel, spent time in Israeli jails after acknowledging providing funds to Hamas, and has used his authority as leader of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Division to incite thousands of his followers to riot under the pretense that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was in danger of being destroyed by Israeli authorities. 

Regarding the UK Immigration Tribunal’s rejection of Salah’s appeal, per the blog of the CST:

“The tribunal considered five pieces of evidence against Salah: a poem he had authored which we argued could incite hatred of Jews, but which Salah argued was not antisemitic; a speech in which he made a ‘blood libel’ slur against Jews, but which Salah claimed was not about Jews; Salah’s inflammatory claims that Israel intends to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque; the outstanding charges he currently faces in Israel for incitement to violence and to antisemitism; and Salah’s conviction for funding organisations linked to Hamas.”

The UK ruling stated:

“We are satisfied that the Appellant has engaged in the unacceptable behaviour of fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK. We are satisfied that the Appellant’s words and actions tend to be inflammatory, divisive, insulting, and likely to foment tension and radicalism.”

“[The Appellant] has admitted in criminal proceedings being involved with organisations used to fund Hamas, a group part of which is proscribed as being a terrorist organisation.”

The ruling goes on to point out that for the purposes of “unacceptable behaviour” under the Prevent strategy, the most important criterion is the impact of a person’s words in fostering “hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK”, and it clearly accepted that Salah’s blood libel comments had the potential to incite antisemitism in the UK.

The Guardian, in a June 30 editorial on the detainment of Salah – in a polemic simply dripping with contempt towards Israel – accused the UK of engaging in anti-Muslim “intolerance”.

As the evidence contained in the UK Judiciary’s ruling clearly indicates however, the only thing the UK was being intolerant about was Raed Salah’s undeniable record of religious extremism, incitement to violence, and virulent antisemitic bigotry – decidedly reactionary values which a genuinely liberal newspaper would similarly lack tolerance towards.  

Guardian Letters Editor abets distortion of Gilad Shalit’s comments about Palestinian prisoners

The televised interview with Gilad Shalit by Egyptian Nile News TV presenter Shahira Amin was both abusive and illegal, as it was conducted under duress in violation of the fourth Geneva Convention and without Shalit having been examined by a representative of the Red Cross beforehand.

On the day of the interview, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal thought it appropriate to rely upon the translation of Shalit’s responses by a Hamas apparatchik and rushed to publish the distorted version on the Guardian’s Live Blog.

Despite all that, it seems that the Letters Editor at the Guardian is not up to speed with any of the above and hence found it appropriate to publish a letter on October 28th from one Benedict Birnberg. 

As we noted previously, here’s what Shalit actually said:

“I will be very glad if they [Palestinian prisoners] will be freed but they should not fight Israel anymore, it should be as part of a peace process and there should not be more wars.” [emphasis mine]

Birnberg is of course a Guardian letters page ‘frequent flyer’. He is company secretary for the charity ‘War on Want’ which is infamous for its anti-Israel campaigns. He is also a trustee for the ‘Free Vanunu’ campaign and a supporter of BDS.

It comes as no surprise that Birnberg would attempt to reap political capital by twisting the words uttered by Gilad Shalit in an abusive situation, surrounded by armed and masked Hamas terrorists, and before he gained his freedom.

It is, however, totally inappropriate that the Guardian Letters Editor should be aiding and abetting Birnberg in adding to the abuse by exploiting the deliberately misconstrued words of a prisoner. 

Palestinian terrorists bombard southern Israel with rocket fire: One killed, several injured by shrapnel.

Per Ynet:

[Several Israelis] were hurt [and one killed] by shrapnel after rockets hit Ashkelon and Ashdod on Saturday evening as part of a relentless attack from Gaza. 

In total, some 20 rockets and mortar shells were fired on Israel’s south [this evening].

Per Jpost:

A man seriously injured from a rocket attack in Ashkelon succumbed to his woundsSaturday night and died at Brazilai Hospital in the city. 

The man was injured when a home was directly struck causing shrapnel to fly.

UK philosopher Ted Honderich repeats his Guardian refrain that Palestinians have the right to murder Israelis

Back in January of 2011, during the Guardian’s Palestine Papers series, Ted Honderich, a professor of philosophy at University College London, had a letter published in the Guardian which explicitly justified killing Israeli civilians.  

Honderich wrote:

“The revelations in detail (Report, 25 January) of the intransigent greed, the escape from decency, of Israeli governments in negotiation with our selected leaders of the Palestinians, serve one purpose among others. They provide a further part of what is now an overwhelming argument for a certain proposition. It is that the Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism within historic Palestine against neo-Zionism. The latter, neither Zionism nor of course Jewishness, is the taking from the Palestinians of at least their autonomy in the last one-fifth of their historic homeland. Terrorism, as in this case, can as exactly be self-defence, a freedom struggle, martyrdom, the conclusion of an argument based on true humanity, etc.” [emphasis mine]

In a CounterPunch essay, published several days ago, “The Arab Spring and the coward’s war on Libya“, Honderich wrote the following, which is, word for word, what he wrote in his Guardian letter:

The Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism within all of historic Palestine against neo-Zionism.”

Honderich has evidently achieved some degree of fame within Islamists circles for his pro-terror stance, as, in an interview with Iranian PressTV this month, he repeated his Guardian and CounterPunch refrain:

“What is happening in Palestine, what is being done by neo-Zionism is such that it gives Palestinians, I happen to believe this and it’s gotten me into trouble, a moral right to their terrorism against neo-Zionism within all of historic Palestine.

Honderich defended his pro-terrorism view, to his PressTV interviewer, thusly:

“I’m writing books. I’m not inciting people. I just give them the best possible reason to give them that the Palestinians have a moral right.”

As I noted at the time the Guardian published Honderich’s January letter:

“Honderich’s letter represented a decision by Guardian editors to publish, and therefore give license to, an explicit justification of terrorism – a call to violence against Israeli [civilians]”

In response to the criticism the Guardian received for publishing Honderich’s letter, Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott wrote the following:

“It is the policy of the Guardian not to publish letters advocating violence against others, but that does not – and should not – preclude a discussion about the nature of terrorism. [Honderich] is not advocating suicide bombing, he is questioning how it is regarded by most people in the west, and how it might be seen as something other than terrorism by people in other places and circumstances…It is a legitimate area of discussion.”

Yes, Honderich was, and still is, morally justifying – that is “advocating” – the murder of innocent Israelis by Palestinian terrorists.

And, yes, regardless of Elliott’s rhetorical obfuscations, the Guardian, by arguing that suicide bombing “could [reasonably] be seen as something other than terrorism by people in other places and circumstances”, provided moral license to Palestinian suicide bombing.

As Honderich might say: the Guardian did not incite people.

They just provided moral justification – in the name of “progressive” thought! – to those who aspire to murder innocent Jewish men, women, and children. 

Simon Deng, Former Sudanese Slave: “Calling Israel a racist state is absurd and immoral.”

H/T Margie

Simon Deng, a former South Sudanese slave in Islamist Northern Sudan, gave the following speech at Durban Watch Conference in New York on Sept. 22nd.

He passionately refuted the malicious ‘Zionism is Racism’ canard and pointed out that it is the Arab Islamists who have engaged in the ethnic cleansing of millions of Sudanese, both Muslim and Christian.  He further notes that Israel is the ultimate destination of Sudanese refugees, not Egypt -who has attacked and oppressed them.

Simon Deng at Stand With Israel Event, UN 9-22-11

What follows is Simon Deng’s prepared remarks  before the Durban Watch Conference:

I want to thank the organizers of this conference, The Perils of Global Intolerance. It is a great honor for me and it is a privilege really to be among today’s distinguished speakers.

I came here as a friend of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. –I came to protest this Durban conference which is based on a set of lies. It is organized by nations who are themselves are guilty of the worst kinds of oppression.

It will not help the victims of racism. It will only isolate and target the Jewish state. It is a tool of the enemies of Israel. The UN has itself become a tool against Israel. For over 50 years, 82 percent of the UN General Assembly emergency meetings have been about condemning one state – Israel. Hitler couldn’t have been made happier.

The Durban Conference is an outrage. All decent people will know that.

But friends, I come here today with a radical idea. I come to tell you that there are peoples who suffer from the UN’s anti-Israelism even more than the Israelis. I belong to one of those people.

Please hear me out.

By exaggerating Palestinian suffering, and by blaming the Jews for it, the UN has muffled the cries of those who suffer on a far larger scale.

For over fifty years the indigenous black population of Sudan — Christians and Muslims alike — has been the victims of the brutal, racist Arab Muslim regimes in Khartoum.

In South Sudan, my homeland, about 4 million innocent men, women and children were slaughtered from 1955 to 2005. Seven million were ethnically cleansed and they became the largest refugee group since World War II.

The UN is concerned about the so-called Palestinian refugees. They dedicated a separate agency for them. and they are treated with a special privilege.

Meanwhile, my people, ethnically cleansed, murdered and enslaved, are relatively ignored. The UN refuses to tell the world the truth about the real causes of Sudan’s conflicts. Who knows really what is happening in Darfur? It is not a “tribal conflict.” It is a conflict rooted in Arab colonialism well-known in north Africa. In Darfur, a region in the Western Sudan, everybody is Muslim. Everybody is Muslim because the Arabs invaded the North of Africa and converted the indigenous people to Islam. In the eyes of the Islamists in Khartoum, the Darfuris are not Muslim enough. And the Darfuris do not want to be Arabized. They love their own African languages and dress and customs. The Arab response is genocide! But nobody at the UN tells the truth about Darfur.

In the Nuba Mountains, another region of Sudan, genocide is taking place as I speak. The Islamist regime in Khartoum is targeting the black Africans – Muslims and Christians. Nobody at the UN has told the truth about the Nuba Mountains.

Do you hear the UN condemn Arab racism against blacks?

What you find on the pages of the New York Times, or in the record of the UN condemnations is “Israeli crimes” and Palestinian suffering. My people have been driven off the front pages because of the exaggerations about Palestinian suffering. What Israel does is portrayed as a Western sin. But the truth is that the real sin happens when the West abandons us: the victims of Arab/Islamic apartheid.

Chattel slavery was practiced for centuries in Sudan. It was revived as a tool of war in the early 90s. Khartoum declared jihad against my people and this legitimized taking slaves as war booty. Arab militias were sent to destroy Southern villages and were encouraged to take African women and children as slaves. We believe that up to 200,000 were kidnapped, brought to the North and sold into slavery.

I am a living proof of this crime against humanity.

I don’t like talking about my experience as a slave, but I do it because it is important for the world to know that slavery exists even today.

I was only nine years old when an Arab neighbor named Abdullahi tricked me into following him to a boat. The boat wound up in Northern Sudan where he gave me as a gift to his family. For three and a half years I was their slave going through something that no child should ever go through: brutal beatings and humiliations; working around the clock; sleeping on the ground with animals; eating the family’s left-overs. During those three years I was unable to say the word “no.” All I could say was “yes,” “yes,” “yes.”

The United Nations knew about the enslavement of South Sudanese by the Arabs. Their own staff reported it. It took UNICEF – under pressure from the Jewish –led American Anti-Slavery Group — sixteen years to acknowledge what was happening. I want to publicly thank my friend Dr. Charles Jacobs for leading the anti-slavery fight.

But the Sudanese government and the Arab League pressured UNICEF, and UNICEF backtracked, and started to criticize those who worked to liberate Sudanese slaves. In 1998, Dr. Gaspar Biro, the courageous UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Sudan who reported on slavery, resigned in protest of the UN’s actions.

My friends, today, tens of thousands of black South Sudanese still serve their masters in the North and the UN is silent about that. It would offend the OIC and the Arab League.

As a former slave and a victim of the worst sort of racism, allow me to explain why I think calling Israel a racist state is absolutely absurd and immoral.

I have been to Israel five times visiting the Sudanese refugees. Let me tell you how they ended up there. These are Sudanese who fled Arab racism, hoping to find shelter in Egypt. They were wrong. When Egyptian security forces slaughtered twenty-six black refugees in Cairo who were protesting Egyptian racism, the Sudanese realized that the Arab racism is the same in Khartoum or Cairo. They needed shelter and they found it in Israel. Dodging the bullets of the Egyptian border patrols and walking for very long distances, the refugees’ only hope was to reach Israel’s side of the fence, where they knew they would be safe.

Black Muslims from Darfur chose Israel above all the other Arab-Muslim states of the area. Do you know what this means!!!?? And the Arabs say Israel is racist!!!?

In Israel, black Sudanese, Christian and Muslim were welcomed and treated like human beings. Just go and ask them, like I have done. They told me that compared to the situation in Egypt, Israel is “heaven.”

Is Israel a racist state? To my people, the people who know racism – the answer is absolutely not. Israel is a state of people who are the colors of the rainbow. Jews themselves come in all colors, even black. I met with Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Beautiful black Jews.

So, yes … I came here today to tell you that the people who suffer most from the UN anti-Israel policy are not the Israelis but all those people who the UN ignores in order to tell its big lie against Israel: we, the victims of Arab/Muslim abuse: women, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, homosexuals, in the Arab/Muslim world. These are the biggest victims of UN Israel hatred.

Look at the situation of the Copts in Egypt, the Christians in Iraq, and Nigeria, and Iran, the Hindus and Bahais who suffer from Islamic oppression. The Sikhs. We – a rainbow coalition of victims and targets of Jihadis — all suffer. We are ignored, we are abandoned. So that the big lie against the Jews can go forward.

In 2005, I visited one of the refugee camps in South Sudan. I met a twelve-year-old girl who told me about her dream. In a dream she wanted to go to school to become a doctor. And then, she wanted to visit Israel. I was shocked. How could this refugee girl who spent most of her life in the North know about Israel? When I asked why she wanted to visit Israel, she said: “This is our people.” I was never able to find an answer to my question.

On January 9 of 2011 South Sudan became an independent state. For South Sudanese, that means continuation of oppression, brutalization, demonization, Islamization, Arabization and enslavement.

In a similar manner, the Arabs continue denying Jews their right for sovereignty in their homeland and the Durban III conference continues denying Israel’s legitimacy.

As a friend of Israel, I bring you the news that my President, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir — publicly stated that the South Sudan embassy in Israel will be built— not in Tel Aviv, but in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

I also want to assure you that my own new nation, and all of its peoples, will oppose racist forums like the Durban III. We will oppose it by simply telling the truth. Our truth.

My Jewish friends taught me something I now want to say with you.


The people of Israel lives!

Thank you

Channeling the Nuremberg Laws with the Guardian’s Deborah Orr

A guest post by AKUS

Twitter has become a treasure trove of information that reveals a great deal about the sub-conscious of those hastily tweeting messages that, in more sober moments, they might revise. As a communications medium the tweets can remind one of the outbursts a permanently drunk Mel Gibson he would have preferred to hide. The twitter equivalent of  “in vino veritas” appears to be: “In tweets, the twouth”. This should be emblazoned at the top of smartphones to warn the unwary that the unedited tweets emerging directly from their nastiest depths will be faithfully recorded and available on the internet.

There has been a well-deserved uproar over the despicable article by Deborah Orr in the Guardian, and her mealy-mouthed apology  in her attempt to rescue what was left of any reputation she might have had.

Thinking of how Nir Rosen lost his job when his tweets about the sexual assault on CBS reporter Lara Logan in Cairo revealed at the very least a warped sense of humor,  I took a look at Orr’s twitter account to see what else she may have to say on the topics of Israeli, Zionism, and Jews.

Deborah Orr describes herself as a “sarcastist” by which she presumably means she has a somewhat cynical view of the world and a great sense of humor.

Much was made of her reference to the “chosen”, a prime antisemitic trope, but I think that there is another interesting sub-text at play in her writing. Her tweets reveal that, sarcastic or not, she has picked up many of the memes that informed the Nazis with their racial theories. She applies the Nuremberg calculus to her musings about degrees of “Jewishness”, and, in a bizarre twist, to her own family.

Wikipedia has a concise version of the racial arithmetic used by the Nazis in formulating the infamous Nuremberg laws:

The Nuremberg Laws classified people with four German grandparents as “German or kindred blood”, while people were classified as Jews if they descended from three or four Jewish grandparents. A person with one or two Jewish grandparents was a Mischling, a crossbreed, of “mixed blood”. These laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited marriage between Jews and other Germans.[2]

Now take a look at the following tweets from Ms Orr, in a few exchanges at with two Jewish interlocutors, “yidtech” and “roeberg”  (you can see the full exchanges at her twitter page if you wish). Note how she refers to Jews as a “race”, which by now most supposedly educated and intelligent people should understand Jews are not, and her fascination with the determination of the fractional Jewish makeup of her husband and children.

The next day, caught up in the furor over her article, her mental defenses are going up, though she still apparently fails to grasp just how badly her article was received – hence her inadequate apology in the Guardian, hardly better than the original article:

Finally, after having initially executed the most extraordinary example of what Landes brilliantly referred to as “a magnificent exegetical pirouette” or moral inversion possible by asserting that Hamas’ insistence on releasing 1,027 of their terrorists in exchange for one kidnapped Israeli soldier was an example of Israeli racism, she backed away. Trying to ease her way back to the safety of condemning terrorism (and perhaps others of Hamas’ less than attractive beliefs and activities) she tweeted:

(Unfortunately, even if some of her best Palestinian friends think Hamas is a ghastly organization, the polls taken to evaluate Palestinian attitudes to Hamas reveal exactly the opposite – that many think it is really quite a fine organization. So do several well-known British citizens – Baroness Tonge, Lauren Booth and  Ben White, to name just three of many).

I do not mean to imply, of course, that Deborah Orr is a Nazi, by any means – but her tweets reveal how deeply prevalent the kind of thinking that imbued Nazi anti-Semitism can still be found among some representatives of Britain’s chattering classes.

Coincidentally or not, Deborah Orr is leaving  CiF for the less widely circulated pages of the Guardian’s Saturday edition. I suppose we will never know if her interesting ideas about Israeli racism and the chosenness of the Jewish people were a last hurrah or the cause of her departure. 

Perhaps on Saturday she will stick to less dangerous topics, such as gardening or cooking. In a way, I will miss her – it is always interesting to have on hand someone like Orr who provides insights into the murky depths below the veneer of “liberalism” that the Guardian tries to maintain over the original ethos it has so perverted.

My guest appearance on Eve Harrow’s show, on Israel National News Radio

I was interviewed on Tuesday by Eve Harrow, a long-time community activist and tour guide from the Judean hills who hosts Judean Eve on Israel National News Radio.

On her show Harrow discusses Israeli archaeology and nature, and conducts interviews with Israelis on current events in the Middle East and the Jewish world. The Judean Eve podcast airs live every Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Israel time.

Harrow and I discussed CiF Watch’s role in combating antisemitism, and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy, at the Guardian. Open link below to listen:

Interview on Israel National News Radio

Jonathan Freedland’s Intifada delusions.

It was disappointing to say the least to see that in his October 25th article on CiF Jonathan Freedland appears to have succumbed to the myth of a non-violent First Intifada.

” There is hopeful talk of a “Palestinian spring”, a popular movement demanding independence that world opinion would find hard to oppose, one inspired by the first, stone-throwing intifada begun in 1987 rather than by the murderous second one that began in 2000. Such an uprising would also put pressure on the Israeli government to make the concessions necessary for peace, much as the first intifada pushed Israel into the Madrid and Oslo processes.”

Ironically, the event which seems to have prompted Freedland’s article is the release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, several of whom were serving sentences as a result of having been convicted for rather more than ‘stone-throwing’ during the First Intifada.  

Whilst it is of course true that the Second Intifada was considerably more violent than the first one, (partly at least due to the fact that by September 2000 the Palestinian terror organisations had much easier access to weapons as a result of the Oslo process), it is by no means accurate to claim that the First Intifada was not ‘murderous’, both in its intent and results.

Memorial for the 16 Israelis killed in first attempted suicide attack of 1st Intifada, in 1989. The attack occurred when the 405 bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was forced off the road by a Palestinian terrorist named Abd al-Hadi Ghanayem. Ghanayem is to be released in the deal for Gilad Shalit.

The First Intifada began on December 9th 1987, but its end is more difficult to date. Some sources define it as ending with the Madrid Conference of October 1991. Others consider it to have continued until the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993. Between December 1987 and September 1993, Palestinian terrorists carried out some 3,600 attacks with Molotov cocktails, 100 attacks with hand grenades and 600 attacks with guns or explosives. Below is a partial list of some of the events which Freedland and others who attempt to airbrush the First Intifada prefer to ignore.

December 28th, 1987 – Israeli postal workers discovered 8 letter bombs, one of which exploded, injuring 2 people.

March 7th, 1988 – Fatah terrorists entered Israel from Sinai, Egypt and murdered Victor Ram, Miriam Ben-Yair and Rina Sharetsky – all workers at the Dimona nuclear plant – and injured 8 others.

April 8th, 1988 – Palestinian gunmen attacked a group of hikers, killing one girl and wounding 15 others.

June 22nd, 1988 – Professor Menahem Stern was stabbed to death in Jerusalem by two Palestinian terrorists whilst walking from his home in Rehavia to the library.  

August 20th, 1988 – Terrorists (probably from the Abu Nidal faction) exploded a hand grenade in a Haifa mall, injuring 25.

October 30th, 1988 – Terrorists firebombed an Israeli bus in Jericho killing a mother and her 3 children and a soldier who tried to rescue them. Ahmed al Takruri was convicted for the attack and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released under the terms of the October 2011 Shalit deal.

February 16th, 1989 – Sgt. Avi Sasportas was kidnapped and shot to death by terrorists. His body was discovered 3 months later.

March 21st, 1989 – A construction worker from Gaza – Mohammed Zakout – stabbed and killed two Israelis and seriously injured a third in Tel Aviv. He was released in October 2011 under the Shalit deal.

May 3rd, 1989 – Cpl. Ilan Sa’adon was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. His body was only discovered in 1996.  Muhammed al Sharatha, head of the cell which murdered both Sasportas and Sa’adon, was released in October 2011 under the terms of the Shalit deal. Also on the same day, two Israelis were stabbed to death and three injured by Palestinian terrorists in an attack in Zion Square in Jerusalem.

June 16th, 1989 – An Israeli was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist near Ariel.

July 6th, 1989 – An Islamic Jihad terrorist forced bus no. 405 off a cliff on the road to Jerusalem, killing 14 people and wounding dozens more. The perpetrator, Abd al Hadi Rafa Ghanim, survived and was sentenced to 16 life sentences. He was released on October 18th 2011 under the Shalit deal.

May 28th, 1990 – A bomb hidden in a stall at the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem killed one person and injured 12.

May 30th, 1990 – A PLF terror attack by sea on Tel Aviv beaches was thwarted.

June 7th, 1990 – An Islamic Jihad bomb in a Jerusalem shopping centre killed one person and injured 9 others.

July 28th, 1990 – a Canadian tourist was killed and 18 others injured by a pipe bomb planted on a beach in Tel Aviv.

August 4th, 1990 – Two Israeli teenagers were kidnapped from Jerusalem and murdered.

September 20th, 1990 – Reservist Sgt Amnon Pomerantz was stoned to death and burned in his vehicle after losing his way in the Gaza Strip.

October 21st, 1990 – Three Israelis were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem.

December 2nd, 1990 – Hamas terrorists stabbed one Israeli to death and injured 3 others on a bus between Petah Tikva and Tel Aviv.

December 14th, 1990 – Hamas terrorists murdered 3 employees at a factory in Yaffo.

March 18th, 1991 – A Palestinian terrorist murdered 4 women in Jerusalem.

October 11th, 1991 – Two soldiers were killed and 11 others injured when a terrorist deliberately ran them over at the hitch-hiking station at Tel HaShomer.

October 28th, 1991 – PIJ and PFLP claimed responsibility for an attack by gunmen on a civilian bus in which two Israelis were killed and several others wounded.

February 14th, 1992 – Three Israeli soldiers were axed to death by terrorists near Kibbutz Gal’ed.

May 17th, 1992 – one Israeli was shot and killed by Palestinians in Bet Lahiye, Gaza Strip.

May 24th, 1992 – 15 year-old schoolgirl Helena Rapp was stabbed to death by a Hamas terrorist in Bat Yam. The murderer, Fuad Amrin, was released under the Shalit deal in October 2011.

May 27th, 1992 – A rabbi from Gush Katif was stabbed to death by a Hamas terrorist.

May 30th, 1992 – One Israeli was killed in Eilat by Palestinian terrorists.

June 25th, 1992 – Two Israelis were stabbed to death by Hamas terrorists in a packing house in Gaza. On the same day another Israeli was injured by a terrorist with an axe.

September 18th, 1992 – an Israeli soldier was kidnapped and stabbed by Hamas terrorists.

September 22nd, 1992 – Border policeman Avinoam Peretz was shot and killed by a Hamas terrorist in Jerusalem.

November 20th, 1992 – A car bomb planted by Hamas terrorists in Or Yehuda was defused.

December 12th, 1992 – Staff Sgt. Major Nissim Toledano was kidnapped and subsequently murdered by Hamas terrorists.  Ahmed Atwan, who was sentenced to 3 life sentences for his part in the incident was released in October 2011 as part of the Shalit deal.

December 19th, 1992 – A policeman was kidnapped and murdered in Jerusalem.

February 24th, 1993 – an 11 year-old girl, Hava Wechsberg, was killed when Palestinians threw rocks at the car in which she was travelling, causing it to crash.

March 12th, 1993 – Pvt. Yeoshua Friedberg was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. Mahmud Shammasina who was serving three life sentences for his part in Friedberg’s murder (in addition to 3 others) was released in October 2011 as part of the terms of the Shalit deal.  

March 29th, 1993 – An Israeli was killed by two Palestinians wielding an axe in Petah Tikva.

April 16th, 1993 – Hamas detonated a bomb in the parking lot of a restaurant at Mehola, killing one person.

May 28th, 1993 – A Yeshiva student was murdered in Hebron whilst walking to synagogue.  

July 1st, 1993 – 3 Hamas terrorists killed 2 women and wounded 2 other people during an attempted bus hijack in Jerusalem.

August 5th, 1993 – An Israeli soldier – Yaron Chen – was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists. Fahad Schludi who was imprisoned for his part in the murder was released in October 2011 as part of the Shalit deal.

September 24th, 1993 – Yigal Vaknin was stabbed to death by Hamas terrorists in an orchard near his home.

In addition to the Israelis killed in the First Intifada (according to the chosen time frame, numbers range from 160 to 185), Freedland also makes no mention of the hundreds of Palestinians killed by their fellow countrymen during that time on the often trumped-up charge of ‘collaboration’ with Israel.

Freedland also appears to think that the First Intifada had the positive effect of pushing Israel towards the Madrid Conference and the Oslo Accords and implies that a contemporary repeat of such an uprising might have similar effects today, of which he appears to approve.

Unfortunately, Freedland neglects to mention that after the signing of the Oslo Accords the rate of terrorism only worsened with 91 Israelis murdered between September 1993 and the end of 1994 alone.

By perpetuating the myth of a non-violent First Intifada and by ignoring the terror which subsequently worsened as a result of the refusal of assorted Palestinian terror factions to accept the concept of peace with Israel as outlined in the Oslo Accords, Freedland is apparently able to delude himself into believing that all that is needed in order for sweetness and light to envelop the Middle East is a ‘gesture’ from the current Prime Minister or the involvement of the international community.

His personal delusions are his own affair, but his air-brushing of the historical facts on the pages of the mainstream media are not.

Saudi cleric’s message, offering reward for kidnapped Israeli soldiers, removed from Facebook

The Facebook message posted by prominent Saudi cleric, Dr. Awad al-Qarni, which offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who abducts Israeli soldiers, has been removed from his page.

Here’s the text of his message, as we reported yesterday:

“Media has reported the news that Zionist settlers pay huge amounts of money to those who would kill the released Palestinian prisoners. In order to answer these criminals, I declare to the world that any Palestinian who captures – inside Palestine [by which he means, all of Israel] – an Israeli soldier in order to exchange him for prisoners, I promise to pay him a reward and prize totaling one hundred thousand dollars.” 

Here’s a screen capture of the original message, in Arabic, as it looked yesterday:

Now, when you try to open the link to the message, you get this:

So, thanks to all the readers and fellow bloggers who complained to Facebook that the cleric’s post represented an egregious violation of FB’s terms of service.

Deborah Orr’s Disgusting Excuse For an “Apology”

This is a cross post by Simon Plosker of Honest Reporting

Deborah Orr

Deborah Orr’s obscene abuse of the concept of the “chosen people” in a Guardian commentary deriding Israel’s efforts to bring back Gilad Shalit as motivated by Jewish racism rightly upset many people.

Such language is regularly employed by anti-Semites to falsely assert that Jews claim to be superior to non-Jews not only in a theological sense but also in a racial one and it was no surprise that Orr found herself in the eye of a storm of criticism.

This and the deluge of emails from HonestReporting subscribers and other concerned parties to The Guardian has had some effect. The October 27 print edition contains a response from none other than Deborah Orr herself:

Last week, I upset a lot of people by suggesting Zionists saw themselves as “chosen”. My words were badly chosen and poorly used, and I’m sorry for it. But accusations of antisemitism have also been intemperate. One can accept the right of Israel to exist, while still believing that the manner in which the nation was created – against the wishes of many of the people already living there, hundreds of thousands of whom became refugees – was problematic and made a contribution to Israel’s subsequent and terrible troubles. (This, in turn, does not imply that the violence against Israel has been either justified or deserved. It has done the Palestinian cause much damage, and rightly so.)

Nevertheless, it would be absurd to believe that Jewish people are any more or less capable of making geo-political miscalculations than anybody else, or any more or less likely to be called to account for them. Evidence from every corner of the world, throughout the ages, attests to the fact that such behaviour is all too typical of humans, as is reluctance to accept that such actions are bound to have their critics.

Deborah Orr’s response is revealing. Does she even know what she has been accused of?

Addressing charges of anti-Semitism, she says that “one can accept the right of Israel to exist.” Orr’s use of the third person leaves us wondering whether or not she does actually does accept Israel’s right to exist. In any case, this was never the issue and it is incredibly disturbing that Orr’s best defense against the charges against her is to concede that Israel may have the right to exist as if this lame concession should immunize her against the criticism she is facing.

Orr offers the sort of explanation given by those who accuse Israel and Jews of “playing the anti-Semitism card” to shut down debate over Israel’s policies. Indeed, it is legitimate to criticize Israel and not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. But Orr went beyond legitimate criticism and attributed Israeli policies to some racist characteristic of Jewish people themselves.

That she concludes by saying that Jews and others are reluctant to accept that their actions are bound to have their critics shows that Orr is addressing not her disgusting usage and abuse of the “chosen” concept but the very fact that she was criticized at all.

In the final analysis, Orr is clearly not sorry for what she said but how she said it. It’s certainly not an apology but a confirmation that Deborah Orr is one nasty piece of work.